Recommended Reading


Get Yourself a Great Read. Right Here.


I have only included books I have read and refer to often. When you buy from these links to Amazon, I get a small commission, which helps support me in doing more of my best work to serve the world, while you get the goodness, the learning and the growth!


Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live by Martha Beck

This is the best book I’ve ever read about figuring out what you were meant to do, because it’s the best book I’ve ever read about figuring out who you are meant to be. If you’re just starting out on your journey of self-discovery, I highly recommend starting with this one.

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown

I had no idea, until I read this book, how much shame I’ve been living with, and it has transformed the way I think about myself and the way I go about my daily life. Shame keeps us small, and vulnerability, while risky, opens us up to a more connected and courageous life. Daring Greatly is our mid-summer “On the Same Page” book club selection.

by Katherine Woodward Thomas


If I was to write the definitive “how-to” book on letting go of old beliefs and behaviors that stand in the way of finding the relationship of a lifetime, it would include just about everything in this book. I use it to coach clients who are confused about why they’re not finding the one lifelong partner they’ve been hoping for, or why they repeat patterns of unhealthy entanglements. Even if you’re not searching for love, this book has a ton of wisdom for living an authentic and happy life.


Sometimes it’s tough to know exactly what we’re feeling, and we end up questioning what we SHOULD feel.  I think this book goes a long way to demystify emotions and to untangle the confusion we sometimes feel about what we’re feeling.  If you’ve ever been confused about when anger is healthy and when it is not, or what messages your fear, sadness, shame or stress are sending you, this is the book for you.

If you’re ready to believe that there are forces in the universe that support your most cherished dreams–you know, the ones that you’ve had since you were a kid but are afraid to tell anyone about now, because you’d sound like a, well, a child–this book gives you permission (and techniques) to make those dreams come true. Whether you really wanted to be a circus performer, or a courtroom lawyer, or a cupcake impresario, finding out the truth about who you really are and engaging the energy of the universe to conspire in your favor can change your life forever.

If you’ve already got a sense that forces bigger than yourself are creating the energy and possibility for you to live a happy, connected and deeply satisfying life, Martha’s latest book will teach you new techniques for making space for your life’s path to reveal itself with a sense of ease and calmness.  With a balance of practicality and “woo-woo,” Martha tells you how to take action to recognize your true identity, and find the like-minded people who will love and support you on your life’s journey.


I think the title says it all.  For those of us who exhaust ourselves in relentless pursuit of the perfect–the perfect home, perfect parenting, perfect work performance, perfect skin–here’s permission, in fact, encouragement, to talk about what you think your imperfections say about you.  By dealing directly with the shame and vulnerability that our humanness bestows on us, we can learn to let go of the suffering we cause ourselves when we feel like we’re a disappointment, or that we’re “less than” others.


On the days when I don’t quite understand how we’re all connected, this brain scientist’s experience with universal oneness reminds me that we’re only limited by the beliefs we’ve embedded in our brains.  When Jill Bolte-Taylor had a stroke, it temporarily disabled the part of the brain that indicates separation–there’s us, and there’s the table, the floor, and all of the beings in the world.  When she saw her life through this lens of oneness, it changed her forever, as a scientist and as a human being.  The book also contains really helpful resources for anyone dealing with a loved one who has suffered a stroke.  Watch her TED talk, too!

Transformational Speaking by Gail Larsen

This book is about far more than public speaking–it’s about how to tell your story in an authentic way. And if you’re not sure what your story is, this is the book to start with. It helped me name my “Original Medicine,” which guides every discussion about my work, and every item on my to-do list.


“On the Same Page” book club book selection for March 2013–this book introduces useful practices for learning to see more possibilities and fewer obstacles as you navigate through work, relationships and life.  For more information about the book club, go to the InsightOut Life Events page.


Creative types will find solace in this book about why people who are better at making connections, engaging others with humor, compassion and insight, will have more opportunities than  linear, left-brain-dominant thinkers.  Develop your right-brain capabilities with some of the exercises in this book, or in Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way (see below). I loved this book!
The Artist’s Way Starter Kit by Julia Cameron If the rock you’ve been living under doesn’t have a copy of this book in its library, you’re missing the classic book of exercises and inspiration to bring out the creative, right-brainer (see above) in you.  Cameron is an extraordinary creative coach, and her teachings have inspired millions of readers. This starter kit is less expensive than the hardcover and includes a copy of The Artist’s Way and The Artist’s Way Morning Pages Journal.  Write on!


The subtitle of this book tells you everything you need to know about the content.  If you’re looking for someone to light a fire under your most desired dreams, buy this book today, and start working toward the meaningful life you deserve.

How to Find Fulfilling Work by Roman Krznaric Finally! A book about careers that considers the important link between who we are at our core, and what we choose to do for a living. This is a practical and inspirational guide to examining your career and deciding whether it truly makes you happy, including the steps it takes to find a job that truly makes you thrive.The desire for fulfilling work is one of the great aspirations of our age. This book reveals explores the competing claims we face for money, status, and meaning in our lives. Drawing on wisdom from a variety of disciplines, cultural thinker Roman Krznaric sets out a practical guide to negotiating the labyrinth of choices, overcoming fear of change, and finding a career in which you thrive. Overturning a century of traditional thought about career change, Krznaric reveals just what it takes to find life-enhancing work.

The School of Life is dedicated to exploring life’s big questions: How can we fulfill our potential? Can work be inspiring? Why does community matter? Can relationships last a lifetime? We don’t have all the answers, but we will direct you toward a variety of useful ideas—from philosophy to literature, psychology to the visual arts—that are guaranteed to stimulate, provoke, nourish, and console.